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Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland


Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Thu May 31, 2018 10:35 pm

Route description: Creag Meagaidh circuit

Munros included on this walk: Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Ardair

Date walked: 30/05/2018

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One of my favourite hills was looking superb in the early morning May sunshine, as I walked up Coire Ardair.

ImageIMG_4679 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

But it was also an astonishing surprise to see the regeneration of native woodland since my last visit.

ImageIMG_4682 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I could hardly believe that the forests of birch, rowan and alder have grown so much since my last walk here in around 2006. Well done to the managers of the National Nature Reserve who have ensured this wonderful regeneration. It gave me a glimpse of how much of Scotland used to look - and, hope for the future!

The forest floor was starred with wood anemones, primroses and violets.

ImageIMG_4855 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I wandered slowly along, and the crags began to loom bigger above the Allt Coire Ardair.

ImageIMG_4702 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Puist Coire Ardair.

ImageIMG_4690 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Allt Coire Ardair.

ImageIMG_4696 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The corrie ahead.

ImageIMG_4698 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Big crag, small stream.

ImageIMG_4713 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The outflow from the lochan.

ImageIMG_4733 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Water sparking on the rocks.

ImageIMG_4735 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Wider view of the corrie.

ImageIMG_4716 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I sat on the shore of the lochan for about an hour. It was a wondrous place, and I had seen no-one. Just like Camusdarach the previous day, it felt like a private heaven.

ImageIMG_4728 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Finally I started walking, and immediately had a different perspective on the corrie.

ImageIMG_4742 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Close-up crags.

ImageIMG_4747 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Alpine scenery, on a near-Alpine scale.

ImageIMG_4752 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Last time I did this walk to the Window, I was wading through thigh-deep snow and watching anxiously above for signs of avalanche at this notorious spot. This time I was surprised how easy the ascent was. Soon the Window looked quite close.

ImageIMG_4763 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The distant figures in this view were the only two people I saw during the whole walk.

ImageIMG_4767 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Mad Meg's Cairn, the summit, and Lochan Uaine.

ImageIMG_4777 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A higher view, with the Loch Lochy hills in the distance.

ImageIMG_4779 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Close-up.

ImageIMG_4781 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Mad Meg's Cairn. To me it looked much older, but the story told about this cairn is that it marks the grave of an 18th century suicide. Her family were not allowed to buy her in the kirk's consecreated ground. A sad and comfortless story, except that her family must have cared deeply to bring her body up this remote spot.

ImageIMG_4795 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking back to the Cairn from near the true summit.

ImageIMG_4801 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

South from the summit. Schiehallion can be seen faintly on the left, Ben Alder and Geal Charn above Ben a'Chlachair in the middle, and Aonach Beag and Beinn Eibhinn on the right.

ImageIMG_4807 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

South-west from the summit- an array of hills from Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin to Ben Nevis.

ImageIMG_4806 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I went back to the Window and started the short easy climb of Stob Poite Coire Ardair, with a great view down into Coire Ardair.

ImageIMG_4809 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking back towards the Window.

ImageIMG_4822 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Close up of the northern Coire Ardair crags.

ImageIMG_4825 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Another angle on the corrie.

ImageIMG_4821 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The ridge to Sron Coire a'Chriochairean, my final objective for the day.

ImageIMG_4836 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A bit closer.

ImageIMG_4837 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The cairn on Sron Coire a'Chriochairean - another fine viewpoint where I whiled away a half-hour contemplating the scene.

ImageIMG_4838 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A contrasting view from the cairn - the bleak wilderness of the Monadh Liath.

ImageIMG_4840 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I descended into beautiful Coire a'Chriochairean.

ImageIMG_4848 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Afternoon light on Puist Coire Ardair.

ImageIMG_4849 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A last look back at Coire Ardair.

ImageIMG_4850 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The view down the path from the same point, with Loch Laggan, Geal Charn and Creag Pitridh.

ImageIMG_4852 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Late afternoon light on the lowland meadows at Aberarder.

ImageIMG_4867 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Yet another walk I will repeat again soon - partly for the fine upland scenery, and partly for the lush forests which are being allowed to reclaim this wonderful place.


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Last edited by HalfManHalfTitanium on Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby Hillbeback » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:12 pm

Tim,
More impressive photos and especially from a compact camera. I use a Canon DSLR myself but sometimes it can be a bit bulky to carry. Your other reports are good too. You've certainly been making the most of the very good weather :clap:
Moira
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby Alteknacker » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:46 pm

Glug! No words apposite. Just utterly wonderful. Love the super-high-res pics.

What a day to be in a place like that.
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:23 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Glug! No words apposite. Just utterly wonderful. Love the super-high-res pics.

What a day to be in a place like that.


Cheers Alteknacker! I always enjoy your reports (much more challenging walks than I do these days) so your comments are really appreciated!

Tim
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby malky_c » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:31 am

You picked the right day for that 8) .

Only been up Meagaidh once, and the weather wasn't that great. Definitely one to revisit on a good day. Those Coire Ardair shots are stunning :D
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:21 am

malky_c wrote:You picked the right day for that 8) .

Only been up Meagaidh once, and the weather wasn't that great. Definitely one to revisit on a good day. Those Coire Ardair shots are stunning :D


Cheers malky_c! - and good luck with your next visit to Meagaidh! I was very lucky, with a week of good weather!

Tim
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby mamoset » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:27 pm

Wow, some fantastic shots there :clap: Enjoyed the round of 3 on there :D
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:52 pm

mamoset wrote:Wow, some fantastic shots there :clap: Enjoyed the round of 3 on there :D


Thanks mamoset! Yes I noticed there was a third Munro peak, Carn Liath, further along the ridge. I think all three peaks would make a big day!

Tim
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby mrssanta » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:32 pm

oh that was really lovely. we were there last year in horrid weather. One day I'd like to go back and camp at the lochan.
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Re: Creag Meagaidh - rebirth of an older Scotland

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:12 pm

mrssanta wrote:oh that was really lovely. we were there last year in horrid weather. One day I'd like to go back and camp at the lochan.


As I was sitting by the lochan, I thought exactly the same thing - perfect camping spot!

That would also allow a leisurely repeat of the route I did on my previous visit, ascending by the Window but descending over Puist Coire Ardair, which gave a great view - not just of Coire Ardair but of the almost perfectly circular Lochan Coire Choille-rais, itself ringed by more big cliffs.
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